Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Acceptable Eggplant

We are entering a difficult few weeks here, eggplant season. No one else in this house appreciates the beautiful baby eggplants now ready at Quail Hill the way I do. Last night I resorted to the childrens' preferred cooking method, frying. Success at last. Not one slice remained. The secret to the coating's light crispiness: Dredging in cornstarch (rather than flour) before a dip in egg and then panko bread crumbs. Here is the recipe:

Light and Crispy Pan-Fried Eggplant
Serves 4 to 6

1/2 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons water
1 lb. eggplant (I used three baby ones), cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
Sea salt or kosher salt
Vegetable oil for frying

1. Place the cornstarch, egg, and bread crumbs in three separate shallow bowls. Stir the wter into the bowl with the egg. Place the eggplant slices on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 10 minutes, pat away any moisture that's beaded onto the surface, and then dredge in cornstarch, dip in egg, and coat in panko.
2. Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees. Cook the eggplant slices in batches, turning once, until golden on each side, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with more salt, and serve.

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